What Maurice Sendak Discovered About Aging and His Tender Blessing

We’re knocked out by this animated clip Christophe Niemann illustrated from Terry Gross’ last interview with Maurice Sendak, a year before he passed away.  It is four minutes of wise, achingly tender words about the blessings of age from the 80-year-old author of Where the Willd Things Are:

There’s something I’m finding out as I’m aging — that I am in love with the world…I look right now, as we speak together, out my window in my studio, and I see my trees, my beautiful, beautiful maples that are hundreds of years old. And you see I can see how beautiful they are. I can take time to see how beautiful they are.

It is a blessing to get old. It is a blessing to find the time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music…


Maurice Sendak

Our friend Maureen Rolla turned his words into a blessing:

With homage to Maurice, I hope you will have time to…

– Enjoy the trees outside your window

– Write, draw, or make something artful

– Remember your friends, living and dead

– Most of all, “Live your life. Live your life. Live your life.

For more of Sendak’s tender wisdom, here are some excerpts from other of Terry Gross’ interviews over the years, and a lovely first few minutes in this interview about childhood:

I still think the same way I thought as a child. I still worry. I’m still frightened… Nothing changes.


8 Responses to What Maurice Sendak Discovered About Aging and His Tender Blessing

  1. Jim Dillon 01.28.2019 at 7:11am #

    Well, now I’m starting Monday out with a good cry. What a beautiful conversation.

  2. Bo DeMarco 01.28.2019 at 7:56am #

    Ah Maurice! Such rich advice & inspiration.

  3. Ro DeMarco 01.28.2019 at 8:51am #

    Beloved genius and a gift to the world. I need to pay attention.

  4. Ro DeMarco 01.28.2019 at 9:42pm #

    Beloved genius and a gift to the world. I need to pay attention.

  5. Marguerita Tajibnapis 01.29.2019 at 1:17pm #

    This was so beautiful! I especially appreciated that Mr. Sendak’s atheism was consistent with his appreciation of life and trees and beauty even as he contemplated the deaths of his friends and his own. I’m not an atheist but someone close to me who is dealing with terminal cancer is and this gave me such comfort to get an insight into how he might think.

  6. Sally Schneider 01.29.2019 at 6:16pm #

    Well put. Sendak paid a very unique kind of attention for sure.

  7. Sally Schneider 01.29.2019 at 6:17pm #

    Yeah, he was really saying goodbye in a way…

  8. Sally Schneider 02.06.2019 at 9:14pm #

    To be atheist does not mean to not have a spiritual life, as Sendak clearly did. Role model.

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